Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces more new features: Friend Groups and Group Chat

At an invitation-only press event in Palo Alto today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is making a few announcements.

First up was “Download Your Information.”

Second was the Apps Dashboard.

The third announcement just made involves breaking down your overall friends list into sub-friend’s list so that Facebook users can share content with only specific groups of friends.

Naive Solution: Mark says the “naive solution” is to create friend’s lists. But lists, Mark says, are still annoying and something people don’t want to do. He also admits that it’s “brutal” to have to manually invite specific friends to events. He says that 5% of users will manually create lists but that he wants “everyone to participate.”

Algorithmic Solution: Then Mark says another solution would be to create an algorithm to auto-create friend’s lists. But Mark says algorithms can be very limiting and often very wrong—or worse, in some cases, very right. He says that Facebook uses algorithms for many things, including news feeds, but it’s not the right technology for this feature. So what’s Facebook’s superior solution?

Social Solution: Tagging. While a majority of Facebook users don’t upload photos, 95% of users have a photo of themselves tagged by somebody else. Mark says the social solution is “easy for friends to set up” and wants it to be the “best group communication tool.” He says that while this feature is a “product” it is also a “fundamental building block.”

So the social solution is that Facebook will categorize friends through Facebook Groups, creating more personalized content streams accessible from your left navigation bar. There will also be Group Chat, where more than two people can chat with each other at once, all within the same group.

1. Create a group, 2. Add friends, 3. Start sharing.

This feature will begin rolling out today.